Sunday, March 26, 2006

911 Response Times and Defending Yourself at Church

The Sun News | 03/08/2006 | 8 minutes span call, response I have been looking at 911 response times again after this post about Chattanooga got me interested again.

The case of the woman killed by her ex-boyfriend as she came out church - tell me again why people who go to church should not be able to carry defensive weapons? - caught my attention. Of course people called 911.

The "big controversy" is that it took 8 minutes for police to respond. This is actually better than the 13 minute response time average for the county - there were no Atlantic Beach police on duty that night. Atlantic Beach has five officers, but one is on workers compensation leave; they often rely on the county to supply officers.

While the people hiding in the church were certainly scared since the ex-boyfriend was still outside, the crime had been committed before the first call to 911. If the police got there 30 seconds after the first call this woman would still be dead. She was shot in the head.

Even the NAACP is getting into the act.
"Human life is human life, and there were some things that should have been handled better," [president of the Myrtle Beach branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Mickey James] said. "We want to keep our eyes on all agencies to make sure they are protecting their citizens."
I won't say he is disappointed that the response time was better than average. He just wants to make it appear that "agencies" can protect "their citizens." I'm sorry, but I am NOT the citizen of any agency. But then I am not a left-wing statist that wants the government to control everything.

The truth is that in the instant this woman met her ex-boyfriend outside of the church, the only thing that would have saved her is the ability to do unto him, before he did unto her. There is no guarantee that had she been armed, she would have survived. There are no guarantees in this life. But no 911 call is going to get a police car there faster than bullet can travel across a parking lot.

8 minutes is a long time to wait in an emergency. 13 minutes is even longer and that is only the average response time. Some people are no doubt waiting 20 minutes. A lot of very bad things can happen in 8, or 13 or 20 minutes. A lot very bad things can happen in a few seconds. Expecting 911 to rescue you is naive. Making churches disarmed-victim-zones does not make people safer.

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